The LA band Cheekface have a clearly defined aesthetic: droll, ironically detached, self-effacing sing-talking from vocalist-guitarist Greg Katz backed by playful, danceable indie rock by Katz, bassist Mandy Tannen, and drummer Mark “Echo” Edwards. We bestowed Album Of The Week honors on last year’s infectiously nervy Too Much To Ask. Today they’ve returned with “The Fringe,” in which Katz builds an ultra-catchy hook out of the phrase, “Success is cringe! Success is cringe! I wanna be on the fringe!”
Katz’s statement on the song:
Me and Mandy were trying to wrestle with the feeling that success in your career or field kind of feels like selling out, even if you don’t think you’re knowingly capitulating to the demands of later capitalism. Like, work, or art, or whatever, feels somehow more authentic, or just better, if other people don’t like it, or if you’re failing. And maybe it feels like a badge of honor to just reject success altogether, and because of that, there’s maybe an impulse to self-sabotage, like, to do things on purpose that you know will not succeed. Also this song has a nice guitar solo in my opinion, although I am biased, because I played it.